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Unformatted text preview: An Early Assessment of Putin's Foreign Policy 16 April 2008 By Fyodor Lukyanov President Vladimir Putin's participation in the NATO summit in Bucharest and his talks with U.S. President George W. Bush in Sochi marked the final foreign policy episode in his two terms. Putin's legacy is worthy of serious study and impartial analysis, but this is not possible right now. Time must pass before the strong enthusiasm of his supporters and the equally strong condemnation of his implacable opponents subside. Only then will we be able to analyze the Putin epoch accurately. The country Putin will be handing over to his successor differs substantially from the one he inherited from his predecessor. Observers in the West love to ask: Where did we go wrong with Russia? Why did Moscow take a path different from the democratic one everyone in the early 1990s was hoping it would follow? Why did it not become integrated into the European community under the benevolent supervision of the Western powers? But these questions emanate from the false premise that it is possible to construct a policy for Russia only. The world really has become a global community, and the West's policy toward Russia cannot be conducted in a vacuum. Rather than wondering where it went wrong with Russia, the West should be asking: After the end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism, why haven't we seen a fair and just world order? During Putin's two terms in office, it has become clear that the formulas designed to solve the world's problems might not actually work or could lead to unexpected results. At the same time, the West was slow to realize that global problems were increasing as...
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- Fall '07
- Cold War, president vladimir putin